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- Etching Guide and Tutorial : Prepare the Plate -
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First the zinc plate or copper plate must have its edges beveled and smoothed so the plate won't cut the paper when it is run through the press. You also don't want to cut the felts; which can expensive to replace.

The Goal: a nice beveled edge. How rough you leave the edges is entirely up to you. However, if you are cutting your paper while printing, or seeing unwanted scrapes and lines on your print, you need to file and /or burnish more.

nice bevel baby!

Now that's a bevel you can set your watch to!

1. Clamp the plate to a work table, firmly but not too tight as to warp it. Use scraps of paper under the clamps to help protect the plate. Firmly slide the file down and sidewise along the edge at a near 45d angle to create a bevel. Do this on all four sides.

file the plate

2. A little dab of the house oil, in the middle of the edge (more dabs for longer edges), will do ya!

oil drop

3. Firmly go back and forth over the edge with the burnisher, spreading out the oil as you do so. Burnish out any scrapes you made from the file. Be sure to smooth out the edge too. It's the motion of the ocean.

the motion of the ocean

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